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22 September 2017 17:25 (South Africa)

Niger Delta rebels threaten to take-up arms again

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

Despite three of its top leaders taking a presidential amnesty, Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, is threatening to lift a three-month-old ceasefire and resume violence in the oil-rich region. Delta residents are poor, even though the government makes billions in oil revenues there, so the amnesty still hasn’t convinced some rebels that government is willing to begin serious peace talks. This week Nigerian authorities sweetened the amnesty by offering Delta residents a 10% equity holding in Nigeria's oil industry. But with massive corruption among Nigerian politicians, the people don’t trust that the money will reach them. The Delta has seen the kidnapping of foreigners and attacks on oil installations, which keep Nigeria from pumping to capacity. The rebels have the support of a few big guns, including Nobel Prize-winning writer Wole Soyinka and some retired senior military types, but are said to have not yet formally met with government officials. The sincerity of Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar'Adua is being tested, as it appears he has never specifically named the group, Mend, as being among numerous rebel groups in the Delta that the government wants to talk to.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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